Monument record MCC7488 - Sheepen Farm - site of pre-Roman settlement


Sheepen Farm pre-Roman and early Roman settlement and industrial complex, whose existence has been known since the mid C19.


Grid reference TL 985 255 (point) (FCE)
Map sheet TL92NE


Type and Period (7)

Full Description

Sheepen Farm pre-Roman and early Roman settlement and industrial complex, whose existence has been known since the mid C19. The first large scale excavation was conducted by the Colchester Excavation Committee in 1930-9 along the proposed route of the Colchester by-pass. Further excavation by Dunnett in 1970 prior to the scarping of land to create a school playing field. Floruit of the settlement dated to the first two-thirds of the C1 AD and settlement continued unbroken from the Belgic into the Roman period until c.70 AD when it declined. The final major building phase after the Boudiccan rebellion is marked by a large Romano-Celtic temple with a precinct wall. This continued to be used throughout the Roman period when the settlement had been abandoned and a second, smaller, temples was founded in the C3 outside its north-west corner. The area contained several important industrial complexes. Pottery kilns are often found in groups, including a group of 4 kilns in one enclosure found in 1933 which produced a wide range of goods including samian and lamps. There was an extensive metalworking industry, including evidence for the large scale production of Roman military equipment. A mint of Cunobelin has also been discovered in the most recent excavation. Numerous Roman burials are scattered over the area especially in and around the area of the Kingswode kilns after they fell into disuse. Hull also postulates that this was the area of the major Roman brickfields producing tile and brick for most of Colchester. <1> Pre-Roman Iron Age oppidum known as Sheepen: occupation continued into the Roman period with gravel digging and small scale industries. <2> Other refs. <3> <4> <5> See also individual sites for other references.

Site Assessment = Scheduled Ancient Monument though partially built over by ECC school and playing fields. <1>

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> DESC TEXT: unknown. 1960 0nwards. SMR form unknown.
  • <2> Scheduling record: Department of the Environment. 1986. DOE Scheduled Ancient Monuments. parts 5-8.
  • <3> DESC TEXT: Hawkes, CFC and Hull, MR. 1947. Camulodunum. p21.
  • <4> DESC TEXT: Hull, MR. 1958. Roman Colchester. p246,249-50,251,258.
  • <5> AP: CUCAP. 1979. BXS 31.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (19)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Nov 3 2015 11:41AM

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